WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- GOP members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Tuesday to remove Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as ranking member, sources told The Hill.
A Republican member of the committee told the newspaper the committee's Republicans held a secret ballot to come up with recommendations on who will be the next ranking member. Those recommendations will be put before the Senate GOP conference at a 2 p.m. meeting Wednesday, when they will also vote on Murkowski's replacement as vice chairman of the conference. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is the sole senator to have submitted his name for that position.
Murkowski, who is mounting a write-in campaign against Joe Miller, the GOP nominee for her Senate seat, will likely keep her committee assignments.
"I am bothered by anything that makes it less likely that we can elect a Republican, especially in a state where we had every hope of electing one," Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said Monday. "Both in Delaware and in Alaska now, it's less likely than it was just two weeks ago. And looking at how we might try to regain control of the Senate, that's the part that bothers me," Kyl said.